"In January 1957, I was inducted into the Indian Army. From the first day itself, it felt amazing-the lure of the uniform was just something else. But when you get trained to lead troops under war conditions-that training would be far from easy. We were not only given rigorous physical training, but even rigorous mental training.
After 3 years when I was finally ready for the field-I was posted in Siyalpur, near the border of Pakistan. Shortly after that, the Indo-China war broke out. I remember a friend of mine-we were from the same city. He was fighting the war in Assam. On the first day, I got the news that the Chinese had captured him. For days we didn't know if he was dead or alive and till today we have no idea what happened to him. His family never even saw his body.
With me, even my family had to sacrifice a lot. I remember once, my family was staying with me in Srinagar. We were housed in a civilian area, when a war broke out-Pakistani aircrafts were everywhere. There was a bomb that blasted 100 feet from my house. I was worried for my two little kids and wife. I immediately sent them off to another town, with an army convoy. They were so scared.
Uncertainty of life has always been there. Once, during the battle of Longewala, one of our troops was heavily attacked by the Pakistani army. We were given strict orders not to vacate and to hold our ground. We weren't equipped with enough arms. But somehow we pulled through, and got more help only in the morning.
You know in the army there is a saying that was always ingrained in us, 'Honor and safety of your country always comes first every time, then of the men you command comes second-and of your own comes last...every time.' And that's going to stay with me...until the day I die."
Humans of Bombay, Fb
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